Brock ISD board of trustees adopted a $15.6 million balanced budget for 2019-20 during a called meeting on Thursday evening.
The budget includes an at least $4,000-pay raise for teachers, librarians, nurses and counselors, though it could be more depending on their position on the pay schedule and years of experience, BISD Chief Financial Officer Mike McSwain said. The pay raise includes what teachers, nurses, librarians and counselors are getting from state-mandated compensation raises according to new state law House Bill 3, which amounts to about $2,500.
HB 3, which aims to reform the school finance system, was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this month. The bill injects more money into school districts and compresses tax rates.
BISD staff are also getting a raise of 8-10 percent, depending on their position on the pay schedule, McSwain said. This raise also includes state funds from HB 3 and local funds.
Superintendent Cade Smith said the budget and pay raises are a result of the board setting priorities and talking with lawmakers who listened to them. HB 3 provided compensation raises, then the district was able to give raises in addition to that. Smith said BISD hopes to continue to be able to raise compensation.
“They deserve much more, and there’s no question about that,” Smith said. “I’m just excited that we’re able to provide this to them.”
Though it is not finalized yet, McSwain expects that the district will add about $100,000 to the fund balance, which is like a school district’s savings account. In August or September, the board will adopt a tax rate, which McSwain said could be $1.50 or $1.51 per $100 valuation, a decrease from the current $1.67 tax rate.
HB 3 worked out pretty well for BISD so far, McSwain said.
“We came out pretty well, we really did,” McSwain said. “It could have been much worse.”
Board Vice President Bill Cooper said raising pay helps the district retain teachers and is well deserved for the hard work staff puts in. The district is also conscious of taxpayer money, and district staff aims to be efficient.
“They really, really watch the money here, and they’re very frugal with what the public gets to offer us,” Cooper said. “Nobody likes their taxes going up, but anytime you can do what we’re doing here, and going to be proposed to drop your taxes, you’re doing the right thing.”
Trustees also approved purchasing 310 Chromebooks for students across all grade levels for $75,000 from the company 2NDGEAR. McSwain said the devices should arrive before the start of the upcoming school year.
The next regular BISD board of trustees meeting is scheduled for July 15.